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March 18, 2020

Whether your are self-employed, work for a small business, or indeed a large multi-national, for a while, working from home is going to become the new norm.

Yet even in these challenging times, we’ve seen cyber criminals preying on people’s fears, using the Coronavirus as just another opportunity. For this reason, it is essential for business owners to ask themselves,

How do I maintain security when my employees work remotely?

Secure remote working

The threats to remote workers

Unsecure networks

Working from home means you’ll be connecting your devices to unfamiliar networks. It is crucial you protect your organisation’s confidential data from cyber criminals who try to hack into unsecure Wi-Fi networks.

Personal devices

Working from home often means using your own devices to complete work tasks, naturally these won’t come with the business network and effective antivirus software you have in the office. This increases the risk of malware finding it’s way onto devices and critical information being leaked.

What can you do to protect yourself and your remote workers?

Secure your internet connection

When working with sensitive information, it is vital that your Wi-Fi is secured, the best way of doing this is ensuring your employees have set a complex password on their home network.

Read our article on how to set strong passwords ››

For maximum protection, please choose WPA2-AES when selecting the security settings on your Wi-Fi router. This makes sure everything you send is encrypted, and almost impossible to hack.

Secure remote connectivity

Provide employees with secure remote connectivity, so that they can carry on working as usual and access the files they need. This should include the provision of secure remote VPN (Virtual Private Network) solutions for accessing internal company resources, as well as extending Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Sandboxing, Threat Emulation and URL Filtering services, where appropriate.

VPNs will improve your overall online privacy. A VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic, so that it is unreadable to anyone who intercepts it. This keeps it away from the prying eyes of hackers.

Collaborating remotely

There are multiple online collaboration tools you can adopt to offer real-time communication with your teams. Platforms like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams will allow your employees to chat to colleagues, assign tasks and deadlines as well as work on documents together.

Microsoft Office 365 is an efficient cloud-based collaboration tool to make communication seamless ››

Use an antivirus software

A strong antivirus software can act as the next line of defense by detecting and blocking known malware.

Even if malware does manage to find its way onto your device, an antivirus may be able to detect and in some cases remove it.

Spot phishing emails

The arrival of the Covid-19 has bought with it a rise in cyber attacks including sophisticated phishing emails. Cyber criminals are using the rise of remote working to cash in on the trend. It’s highly likely that phishing emails will target remote workers in a bid to steal their personal information or gain access to company accounts.

Ensure your employees are trained and know how to spot a phishing email. Some easy giveaways being the sender’s email address, check it for spelling errors and look for poor grammar in the subject line and email body.

Read our article to learn more about the sophistication of phishing emails ››

Multi-Factor Authentication and Encryption

Sometimes a strong password just isn’t enough. Two -factor authentication (2FA) and two-step verification (2SV) involve an additional step to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts.

The extra step could be an email or text message confirmation, a biometric method such as facial recognition or a fingerprint scan, or something physical, such as a USB fob. These prevention methods are there to ensure your data/information is truly secure.

Best practice advice

Comtact Ltd. has continued to excel by building long-term trusted partnerships, supporting clients’ long-term best interest. In light of the significant challenges facing many business, we trust you find this guidance useful.

Operating 24/7, our dedicated team of experts are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Comtact's UK Security Operation Centre (SOC)

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About Comtact Ltd.

Comtact Ltd. is a government-approved Cyber Security and IT Managed Service Provider, supporting clients 24/7 from our ISO27001-accredited UK Security & Network Operations Centre.